More LGBT adopters and foster carers are needed to provide loving, stable homes for children in the North West, particularly for those over four years old and sibling groups. 1 in 12 adoptions in England in 2015 were to same-sex couples, but 69,540 children are in care.
Leading adoption charity Adoption Matters is appealing for more members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community to consider becoming adoptive parents. Adoption Matters is proud to be a member of New Family Social – the UK charity working for LGBT adopters, foster carers and their children and who organise the LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week each year. This year’s events take place between 7 and13 March. Two of Adoption Matters’ couples, Luke & Sam and Michael & Les, are sharing their stories in the hope of encouraging other couples to think about adoption.
Luke tells his and Sam’s adoption journey:
Sam is from Derbyshire originally and I (Luke) am from Perth, Western Australia. We met in London 5 years ago and ended up moving to the North West where we now live near the beach. We both have very busy corporate careers and I own a business which means we , used to work very long hours.
I always wanted children which is one of the reasons I moved to the UK from Australia as adoption, let alone same sex parent adoption, in Australia is extremely difficult and not generally done. When I left Australia, I always assumed we would go through surrogacy however when I met Sam, he had no intention of having children let alone surrogacy!
As we edged towards our early 30’s, we felt there was more purpose to life and decided it was time to settle down and have a family. We discussed surrogacy at length and have a number of close friends who have done it however, we both agreed that there was no reason to bring a further life into the world when there were enough children who needed a family and we knew we would have no issues in loving a child who was not biologically ours.
We chose Adoption Matters after our initial call with one of the Social Workers who helpfully answered all my questions and eased my concerns over being a same sex couple.
The process was long and at times quite tedious with a lot of waiting however, we loved the training groups we attended and we felt supported the whole time.
We initially had a view to adopting one boy 4+ years old and during the process, we were told that there were not many children in the system and we could be waiting a long time. Throughout the process however, we became aware of all the siiblings waiting for a forever home and we were planning on adopting two children at some stage so we agreed to add a preference for a male sibling pair. As we believed we would be waiting for so long, we decided to buy a bigger house and give ourselves a renovation project… it didn’t happen how we thought it would!
Our panel was in the Spring of 2015, and the very next day we received a call about our two boys aged 4 & 6 years old. We immediately knew they were for us when we saw their profile. Within 4 months, our boys had moved in!
The past 6 months have been life changing. We initially struggled with our decision particularly because the first few weeks were extremely difficult and although we had been prepared, nothing could prepare us for how we felt, the exhaustion and the emotions. 6 months down the line and we would not change it for the world. We have our ups and downs like any family however when we see how significantly they have improved in every aspect of life, we know it was worth it
When we tuck our boys into bed at night and they say “I love you Dad and Daddy”, it makes it all worth it”.
Michael tells his and Les’ adoption journey:
Les and I both met while working overseas as holiday reps over 12 years ago, after 3 years travelling we decided to come home and join the real world. We did a lot of research on a few agencies and we got literature sent to us from all. We were lucky as we have a friend who had adopted through Adoption Matters the year before and she recommended them highly. From the minute we contacted them we knew we had made a great choice. What are the joys of adopting? Wow we have so many, not only becoming a family of 3, we have made lots of new friends within our community. We also have a very busy social calendar now; Weekends are pretty full on! Parties, play dates etc. but the main joy has to be seeing through your own eyes, a child growing and developing in to their own individual little personality.
I would tell anyone considering adoption out there, particularly from the LGBT community, DO IT! It is so rewarding being a parent. Everyone’s journey is different so ask as many questions as you need, don’t be afraid as no question is a silly question. But don’t forget to ask YOURSELF one question – What would your family look like in one year from now? The answer should make you want to take the first step.
Norman Goodwin CBE, Chief Executive of Adoption Matters said: “We are so grateful to Luke, Sam, Michael and Les for sharing their stories. As Luke points out, there are still many siblings and older children waiting too long for their families and we know there are many within the LGBT community who would make great parents who may still think it’s not possible for them to adopt.
“Many of the children we have placed have had a very traumatic start to life, and we have seen them thrive with their new LGBT parents.”
For more information on how to adopt contact us on 0300 123 1066 or complete our short online enquiry form here.